Friday, March 26, 2010

Nonstick Edition...

Nonstick pans are known as a great alternative to using excess fat when cooking. Are they?

If you haven't heard of the dangers of nonstick cookware, rest easy once you learn that DuPont HAS! They have known of all the risks and dangers of their Teflon products for awhile. Every major news source has been on it- ABC, NPR, BBC, The New York Times.

Diabetes, organ damage, and raised cholesterol are just a few maladies linked to nonstick surfaces. The most recent articles report nonstick chemicals as a possible cause of thyroid disease.

Bird owners have been warned not to use their pans with pet birds in the room after a 24-year-old Amazon parrot dropped dead due to the off-gassing of a heated Teflon pan. The company also advises users never to heat the pan above 500 degrees.

Dupont routinely tests the blood of their workers, specifically females, and follows their pregnancies and birth outcomes. They have even relocated workers who are of child bearing age, removing them from factories.

A town downriver from a DuPont plant in West Virgina had their water supply tested by the company. This water was found to be contaminated with plenty of the chemical abbreviated to PFOA or C8. These water tests and blood test results were illegally hidden from the public. Following the pollution and poisoning of this town and their people, a class action lawsuit was filed. Dupont agreed to shell-out up to $343 million, settling out of court to take care of their wrongdoing. The agreement

A plaintiff in this case, Bucky Baily, was born to a Dupont Factory worker. I swear his name is not fictitious and neither is is face. Sad but true, his mother worked at the West Virginia factory, and her pregnancy was one that was "watched" by the company. This is not the same face he had at birth. Unfortunately, back then it was worse. He has had surgery after surgery to correct the birth defects.

Alternatives To Teflon

There are many great alternatives to Teflon. Williams Sonoma carries a line of bakeware called GoldTouch. It's nonstick coating is made from ceramic. This line is pure genius and works wonderfully.

I really love my cast iron skillets. I couldn't live without them. They are good for so many purposes and even offer the benefit of adding iron to your food! Women of childbearing age know how important this extra iron is... whether you are menstruating, pregnant, or nursing. Iron also supports proper brain development in children.

Enameled cast iron is expensive, however a good option if you want something pretty and easy to clean.

Pyrex also makes fabulous bakeware. I absolutely love their pie trays and loaf pans. The wonderful thing about glass cookware is that it holds it's heat well. When you have something you want to cook in the middle without burning it, glass can help you achieve this result.

Some options that I haven't tried are silicone bakeware and the Green Pan line, a "safer" nonstick found at Target. I am still weary of those options, so let me know if you have any good insight on it.

Needless to say, Teflon, if you can't take the heat then GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN!

Want to learn more?

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Anonymous Christa said...

Once again, good and thorough coverage! I am also a huge fan of cast iron. Talk about the ultimate in nonstick! If only I could have a gas range...

March 26, 2010 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger C said...

that is so interesting! and thanks for the info about the WS goldtouch line, i had been wondering about that. i'm going to throw away my yucky nonstick stuff and stick to the cast iron and glass!

March 26, 2010 at 8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job on your blog Heather! Very informative! I'd love to read about the risks of different plastics...hint hint :-)

March 27, 2010 at 12:16 AM  
Anonymous Stacy B. said...

I am scared of coated pans, but I use them for my eggs... you did a post about eggs, and one about pans, but what pans do you cook your eggs in? Cast iron? I keep a very close watch on my pans to make sure they are in tact, but I would really like to find something else!

I, too, can't have a gas range where I live, so I don't have the option of cast iron.

March 27, 2010 at 5:27 PM  
Blogger Thoughtful Mothering said...

I use all my cast iron pans on my ceramic top stove. I know they say you shouldn't... but it has never scratched. Every "mark" that comes off the iron wipes off like a charm with a cloth, some water and some baking soda.

I cook my eggs in the cast iron with a little butter or bacon grease. Unless, of course, I'm poaching them. Then I use my enameled cast iron and in they go!

March 27, 2010 at 8:09 PM  
Anonymous Toni P. said...

I too use my cast iron on my ceramic top. My Maytag book doesn't specifically warn against cast iron but does against aluminum, which also has never scratched the top despite my extensive Magnalite collection. We ditched all Telfon products a few years back after my hold-out husband was turned off by the flaking coating (coupled with my gentle prodding about the ill effects of the too-hot pan). He's still learning how to balance having a hot enough pan to prevent sticking but not too hot to get burning. But for two Christmases he's had a cast iron pan on his list!

March 29, 2010 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Ross4Teflon said...

Hi -- I applaud the idea of creating a safer home, and because there's so much misinformation out there about Teflon, I'm not surprised that you are concerned. I'm a representative of DuPont though, and hope you'll let me share some information with you and your readers, so that everyone can make truly informed decisions. Regulatory agencies, consumer groups and health associations all have taken a close look at Teflon. These articles highlight what they found -- the bottom line is that you can use Teflon without worry.

I'd truly be glad to share additional information about it if you are interested, and appreciate your consideration of this comment. Cheers, Ross.

March 30, 2010 at 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Ashley said...

Wow! So DuPont actually has paid reps to go and check mommy blogs on the internet?!

March 31, 2010 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Thoughtful Mothering said...

Thanks for pointing that information out to me and my readers, Ross.

According to those articles, Teflon is just OK... it's not SUPERIOR or even GOOD. Did you really just send me something that said if you heat oil for 2 1/2 minutes on high it is "Risky?" I'm cautious and thoughtful when it comes to preparing foods for my family and friends.

I really do love using cast iron, especially since it offers the benefit of adding additional nutrition to my foods.

March 31, 2010 at 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like the "ceramic" coating on the Williams Sonoma GoldTouch line you are recommending has a secondary coating of PTFE on it:

Worth reading. Might not be as plastic-free as you were hoping for.

July 27, 2013 at 11:32 AM  

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